AQHA 2020 DISTANCE CHAMPION MADEWELL HEADS FIELD OF EIGHT IN GRADE 2 AQHA REMINGTON PARK DISTANCE CHALLENGE
Last year’s American Quarter Horse Association Distance Champion, Madewell, has been made the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Sunday’s Grade 2, $38,148 AQHA Remington Park Distance Challenge.
Even though the 7-year-old gelding was a champion in 2020 and has won his last four starts in a row at the distance of Sunday’s race, 870 yards, he has his work cut out for him. He is facing a horse in the race that drew the rail, which can be deadly around the hook, that has beaten him twice – Higher Flyin Eagle. Both of those Madewell losses came at Remington Park in 2020. Higher Flyin Eagle was established as the solid second morning-line favorite at 5-2 odds.
Madewell is an Oklahoma homebred for owners Ray and Davy Madewell of Ringling, Okla. They are multiple graded stakes winning owners, with all three of those graded wins attributable to Madewell. The gelded son of Jess Jones, out of A Streak of Cash mare Streakin Peacock, won the Grade 1, $102,000 Cox Ranch Distance Challenge Championship at the Downs at Albuquerque on Oct. 24 and the Grade 2, $55,000 AQHA Downs at Albuquerque Distance Challenge on Aug. 23. He also won a trial for the latter stakes and an allowance race at the same track in between the stakes as part of his current four-race win streak. He is trained by Bernard Baca and will be ridden by Benito Baca, one of the top hook jockeys at Remington Park.
Madewell has won 8-of-28 starts at 870 yards but only 2-of-13 at Remington Park. Higher Flyin Eagle has been victorious in three-of-five starts around the hook and four-of-eight in Oklahoma City. Madewell’s career stats are 29 starts, eight wins, eight seconds and seven thirds for $238,115 in earnings. It’s not like Madewell hasn’t won a big race around the turn at Remington. In 2019, he won the $50,000 Remington Park Distance Championship at 870 yards.
Higher Flyin Eagle, a 5-year-old gelding by Favorite Cartel, out of the Separatist mare Royaltime Separatist, has raced 14 times and won five and run third three times for a bankroll of $61,915. Clint Crawford trains for owners Amy and Joel Pierce of Sallisaw, Okla. Jockey Daniel Amaya gets the call for this race. Higher Flyin Eagle was bred in Texas by King Camden Running Horses.
Illtakeyouforaride could be the horse to upset the apple cart at 9-2 odds on the morning-line, and will leave the starting gate from post-position two. He has won 6-of-14 at 870 yards including the $28,000 Distance Challenge at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, by 6-1/2 lengths. That was on Oct. 3 of last year with jockey Kelsi Purcell in the boot. She makes the trip into Oklahoma City for this race and will get a leg up from trainer Michael Joiner for the ownership of Illtakeyouforaride Partnership of Santa Teresa, N.M.
The Remington Park Distance Challenge is schedule to go as the sixth race on a card of 12, with an approximate post time of 8:10 p.m.
Here’s a look at the horses from the rail out, including post position, jockey, trainer, and odds:
Higher Flyin Eagle, Daniel Amaya, Clint Crawford, 5-2
Illtakeyouforaride, Kelsi Purcell, Michael Joiner, 9-2
Candyman Dash, Justine Klaiber, Robert Esqueda, 20-1
Viva Le Rock, Noe Garcia, Jr., Gregg Sanders, 20-1
Madewell, Benito Baca, Bernard Baca, 2-1
Viva Le Don, Josh Romero, Tammy Johnson, 4-1
SW Gunslinger, Salvador Martinez, Felesha Gold, 15-1
SW Artemisia, Stormy Smith, Jason Pascoe, 12-1
Remington Park racing continues Saturday and Sunday, April 24 & 25, with first post time nightly at 6pm-Central.
Tracked by more than 165,000 fans on Facebook and 10,400 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $260 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is home to the $1 million Heritage Place Futurity on May 29. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.